Slideshows Images Quizzes

Rosemary

font size


What other names is Rosemary known by?

Compass Plant, Compass Weed, Encensier, Herbe Aux Couronnes, Old Man, Polar Plant, Romarin, Romarin Des Troubadours, Romero, Rose de Marie, Rose Des Marins, Rosée De Mer, Rosemarine, Rosmarinus officinalis, Rusmari, Rusmary.

What is Rosemary?

Rosemary is an herb. Oil is extracted from the leaf and used to make medicine.

Rosemary is used for digestion problems, including heartburn, intestinal gas (flatulence), and loss of appetite. It is also used for liver and gallbladder complaints, gout, cough, headache, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, reducing age-related memory loss, improving energy and mental tiredness, opiate withdrawal symptoms, sunburn protection, and diabetic kidney disease.

Some women use rosemary for increasing menstrual flow and causing abortions.

Rosemary is applied to the skin for preventing and treating baldness It is also used for treating circulation problems, toothache, a skin condition called eczema, muscle pain, pain along the sciatic nerve, and chest wall pain. It is also used for wound healing, in bath therapy (balneotherapy), and as an insect repellent.

In foods, rosemary is used as a spice. The leaf and oil are used in foods, and the oil is used in beverages.

In manufacturing, rosemary oil is used as a fragrant component in soaps and perfumes.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Causing abortions.Taking rosemary by mouth does not seem to cause an abortion.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Age-related mental decline. Some early research suggests that taking powdered rosemary leaves might improve memory speed in healthy, older adults. However, higher doses seem worsen memory.
  • Patchy hair loss. Early research shows that applying rosemary oil with lavender, thyme, and cedarwood oils to the scalp improves hair growth in some people.
  • Male-pattern baldness. Early research suggests that applying rosemary oil to the scalp is as effective as minoxidil for increasing hair count in people with male-pattern baldness.
  • Arthritis. Early research shows that taking a product containing rosemary, hops, and oleanolic acid (NG440 or Meta050) can reduce pain associated with arthritis.
  • Mental performance. Early research shows that rosemary aromatherapy can improve the quality of memory recall. It also seems to increase alertness in healthy adults.
  • Diabetic kidney damage. A high level of protein in the urine of a diabetes patient is an early marker of diabetic kidney damage. Early research suggests that taking a product containing rosemary, centaury, and lovage (Canephron N by Bionorica) can decrease the amount of protein in the urine when taken with standard antidiabetes medications.
  • Mental tiredness. Early research shows that taking rosemary does not improve attention or mental energy in adults with low energy levels.
  • Fibromyalgia. Early research suggests that that taking a product containing rosemary, hops, and oleanolic acid (Meta050) does not improve symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  • Hypotension. Early research shows that taking rosemary oil three times per day increases the top number in a blood pressure reading (systolic blood pressure) and the bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) in people with low blood pressure. Blood pressure seems to return to pretreatment values once rosemary use is stopped.
  • Opiate withdrawal. Early research suggests that taking rosemary leaves along with methadone, improves opium withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stress. Some early research suggests that rosemary and lavender oil aromatherapy may reduce pulse rates, but not blood pressure, in people taking tests. But other research shows that applying rosemary oil to the wrist increases feelings of anxiety and tension during testing.
  • Sunburn. Early research suggests that taking a product containing rosemary and grapefruit extract (NutroxSun by Monteloeder Inc.) may protect against sunburn
  • Cough.
  • Eczema.
  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Gout.
  • Headache.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Increasing menstrual flow.
  • Indigestion.
  • Liver and gallbladder problems.
  • Toothache.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate rosemary for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Related Drugs
Health Resources
Related Supplements
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors